QUMAN PHYSICS

To start off, we are caught in a familiar dilemma:

(1) A useful initial abstract or summary often cannot be created without using terms and concepts later to be developed in the whole essay. Summaries and abstracts are only useful when the essay develops only a few new concepts related to established knowledge and uses familiar terms. Truly new ideas can’t be summarized without cuing (forcing) a improper classification of the new topic into a familiar category, instead of adding a new category to the whole.

(2) To begin with some detailed examples may not communicate the significance of the whole to the reader.

This may be called the  deductive/inductive dilemma; which is partly due to the constraint of linear processing. Gregory Bateson spoke explicitly on this issue.

Were this essay presented as a hypertexted web, with no specified start or path, it would cue the “reader” to perform a more attentive, mindful, exploratory analysis.

Quman Physics may not be a good name for this topic. It is temporary, but possibly useful for introducing the topic.

Quman Physics : Classical Human-Studies 
<=>
Quantum Physics : Classical Physics.

Quman Physics is an new approach to the study of all systems where humans are the basic components, from the perspectives of precision and empiricism attributed to the best practices of contemporary physics.

The “physics” in quman physics is not dependent on any laws or concepts within the physics of material reality. I use “physics” as an analog for quality process in seeking valid comprehension for “stories/theories” to “explain” patterns in our recorded experiences. RECORDED is the key concept here, and for inter-subjective discourse, replicable records.

Examined closely, the empirical basis of phenomena studied by science are not the directly observed phenomena, but the pattern of symbols on reports, data, graphics, and computer records. For this essay I will call such an item a sem for “semiotic structure”.  Related collections of sems I will call a semfield. I will have more to explicate about sems and semfields, later.

        computers and science ?
        real worlds?
        different scientific disciplines ?
        science as a human activity – with all the problems with humans ?

The empirical base of a Quman Physics are also sems and semfields.
The science of human and material realities are united in their common empirical bases being replicable and perceivable archives of reports (semfields)

Historical Emergent/Shifting Realities

The core intent of this essay is to propose that humankind is now primed to shift radically to a radically new perspective of human-systems reality; and that this shift may provide humankind with viable means to survive its Crisis-of-Crises and launch a thriving Humanity/Gaia far, far into our future.

This coming shift will be compared with the century old shift from Classical to Quantum physics. Although this shift (in physics) may not be fully comprehended, let alone known to most humans today, it had a profound impact on everyone, primarily as a foundation for our modern advances in technology.

Before examining the Classical/Quantum shift, consider how many shifts of this kind have occurred throughout the history of humankind. The scientific/philosophical comprehension of these shifts may be known to only a few; but their impacts on the evolution/emergence of humankind have been profound. Although a few names are linked to these shifts, they are creative emergent phenomena within human communities, where the final synthesis occurs within singular mind/brains, which is recognized and perfected by the community. Sometimes the synthesis may be premature, and not immediately acknowledged by the community.

Earth-Centered  to  Sun-Centered Planetary System – [Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Newton are the persons whose names are attributed to this shift]

Confused/Complicated Universe to Mechanistic Universe (Everything is a machine!) – [Descartes, Newton]

Fixed Creatures to Evolving Organisms  — Evolution as process over time – [Darwin]

Fixed Space & Time to Relativistic Space-Time – including Electromagnetic Field Theory -[Maxwell, Heavyside, Lorentz, Einstein, Minkowski]

Local Universe to Expanding & Multiple Universes –  discovery of galaxies, black holes, Big Bang

These are only a few shifts of the many, of different sizes, throughout history. The rise of religions and monotheistic gods. The various inventions of our most early ancestors (fire, drawing, tools, metallurgy, farming, sailing, writing, printing, domestication, etc.) each contributed to our emergence.

Modern Speculative Fiction (SciFi) have mostly called an end to major shifts. Space-travel sagas, even galactic colonization, hardly modified the human system. Even speculations about a possible Singularity or a take-over by robots don’t basically challenge our imagination about human reality. I expect that this is not uniquely characteristic of our time, but of all times. Humans, whatever the era, have been quite unable to imagine the next, major shifted, era. We can only tinker within our own eras.  Era shifting innovations often begin with being a tool for the present era; only later, when applied in new domains, can an innovation  catalyze era shifts. The metaphor of fish not knowing about water may be more meaningful that we wish to admit. Our water is our system of unquestioned, and often not recognized, assumptions foundational to our era.

We might better characterize humankind today as a montage of different eras, with some characteristics common to most, if not all; but with many basic differences – as well. That is, there are populations functioning within the worldviews of prior eras.

 

A Brief History of the Emergence Quantum Physics.

For the purpose of this essay, you need know nothing about the details of Quantum Physics, let alone Classical Physics.  I will attempt to distinguish the relevant differences. This is somewhat long, but I hope interesting.

Classical Physics – which we can date emergent from Newton and his contemporaries – was concerned with the patterns of movement of material objects, from tiny balls to planets, under the influence of forces, primarily gravitation and electromagnetic. Telescopes and microscopes greatly enlarged the range of possible observations. As mentioned earlier, it was the data, the analysis of data, and reports which were the basis of inter-subjective science. Classical physics refers to how macroscopic objects, substances and forms, behave in our perceptual world of our senses. We will find it dangerous to extend “what works” in this domain of perceptual reality to domains which are beyond direct observation. Classical Physics is distinct from how all humans, using language, arrive a cultural explanations of observed phenomena.

A fact (unknown to most persons): the atomic model of matter (a speculation going back to the Greeks) was highly controversial in the decades before and after 1900. The continuous divisibility of matter had not be disproven and there were experiments that seemed to conflict with an atomic hypothesis. The elements were revealing themselves, primarily by chemistry – but elements were not yet thought of as composed of atoms. Some rocks with heavy elements (radium) were able to stimulate fluorescence in other substances. It was believed the rocks had to be placed in the sun to gain their power to cause fluorescence – by light-like rays later emitted. These rocks (after exposed in the sun) were placed, in the dark, on photographic sheets, which were supposed to be exposed to something emitting from the rock, the same as what caused fluorescence.

One week it was cloudy and rained, so the scientist (Henri Becquerel) put his rocks in a drawer with unexposed film. Weeks later he planned to renew his experiments and for some reason chose to develop the film – and found them already exposed. He first complained to the company providing the photographic paper. But the rocks had not been placed in the sun, and yet they fogged the film.  To make a long story short, this led to the serendipitous discovery of PARTICLE radioactivity and the discovery of ATOMS. Other instruments were invented to detect these tiny, invisible electrically charged particles – which grew up to become the CERN “atom smasher”.

Today it is a matter of semantics whether we can actually “see” individual atoms. We have instruments that can detect activity in a given region of space-time (determined by macro settings of the instruments) which we attribute to a single atom. We can even create instruments that emit one atom at a time – but again, the observation is indirect and dependent on math calculations. We don’t use our eyes to tweak light waves like when we look through telescopes or microscopes. We have instruments which hold a “sample” of something which is structured to be thought of as bombarding that sample with a stream of somethings else that are generated in another instrument. Then we have additional instruments to detect thing imagined to be resulting from the interaction of the beam of somethings and the something sample. Today, the detection instruments are connected to computers and what the scientist may SEE/OBSERVE is a graph or a data table.  Humans don’t PERCEIVE, in the normal psychological sense, what “goes on” within scientific apparatuses.

This is the same “observational” issue today about our discovery of many solar systems about distant stars. What we observe are precise fluctuations in the light from a star, which through computations can predict the variations as due to planets moving across the star. This is not to say they are wrong, and we might eventually have telescope-like devices that actually detect (for our eyes) the light from the planets as distinct from the light from the star.

One can play the game of alternative history. What if the serendipitous discovery of radioactivity had not taken place in 1896. It is possible the the whole technological field of electronics and computers may have been delayed for decades, if not longer. When we consider the frequency of serendipitous discovery in humankind, there are many alternative branches of “history” that might well have occurred.  In how many alternative histories might we NOT be facing our present Crisis-of-Crises?

The history of science is continually rewritten to fit the views of the era, and the debates and false leads are eliminated, except in the most scholarly works. I don’t know how popular among physicists the search for Quantum Theories was during the first quarter of the 20th century. The work was concentrated among about a dozen physicists located in a few universities in Europe. They were working with many anomalies and seeming contradictions in a variety of experiments which didn’t agree with established “classical” physics. They were aware that something very BIG was emerging, but seemed blocked in coming to a synthesis.

I only recently read a book that shed some light on what caused the emergence of Quantum Physics in 1926, in TWO, initially seemingly, contradictory forms. The physicists finally and explicitly agreed to totally abandon the classical analog, the Bohr Atom.  Part of the delay was homage to Bohr. They focused the task of creating a comprehensive theoretical/mathematical system to account for their data – and future data. They were no longer beholden to metaphors about reality – as experienced in our macro world.  They were studying a world well beyond direct observation by our senses and there was no need for that world to follow the laws of our sensory macro world.  Heisenberg was pure in sticking with mathematical formalities and data. Schroedinger did use imaginary probability wave fronts collapsing – but these were not observable. These new theoretical systems worked very well, and Quantum Theories were the topic of many scientists since.

They had to abandon another metaphor, spin.  The data came sometimes in sets that were + and -, and integral values 2x, 3x, 4x a measured value. This pattern was analogous to spin, and easy to ascribe to the little planetary electrons spinning. Only after physicists abandoned all association of these metaphors with “spin” were they free to create the proper mathematic formulations to match the data.

Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Wolfgng Pauli and Carl Jung by Arthur I. Miller

Quantum Physics has not contributed to how we observe and relate to our macro, perceptual realities. Classical physics is fully applicable. However, it has contributed to our comprehending complex material systems involving special organization of atomic level systems. Our highly technical world is very dependent on Quantum Physics, although only a very, very small percent of humankind have knowledge of it, and much fewer are masters of the theory.

I earned a PhD in physics in 1965, but my studies basically ended in 1960. I had a sequence of courses in quantum physics, did the problems and passed the courses. But I never worked as a quantum physicist. My studies were basically to the level of quantum physics in 1930.

It is interesting, to note, that most practicing physicists have no accurate knowledge of or interest in the history of their fields.

History and State of classical Human Studies today.

In my analog, I liken the state of human studies (philosophy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, economics, history, etc. – the study of human systems and what they produce) to the state of classical physics – which continues to exist (it has not been replaced by quantum physics – they apply to different sets of data and reports). However, there are differences.

In “physics”, that study of all systems where humans are not significant actors, the emergence of the science is still influenced by the fact that it is an activity of human systems. This results in errors and delays, but since the empirical foundation is not human systems, human caused blocks are eventually transcended. As one physicist once stated, you have only to wait for the old physicists to die off.

Human Studies also has this problem, but no independent empirical base. Human beliefs about human systems are very important to how human systems function. The science of human systems can be demonstrated as false, but still used by power elites (e.g. economics).

Many of the entities we label in the Societal Domain are no more sensory observable than atoms or quarks. Economics and governments, in general and in specific are not observable as a whole. What we do observe with our senses are interpreted as parts of very large societal systems. Yet, we treat them as if viewing our Moon – which has a back side we have seen only by going behind it in a space ship. The USA, the state of Arizona or the city of Tucson, GE, GM, IBM, the UN, the EU, Great Britain are all PHANTOMS, according to the philosopher Bruno Latour.

I can view the whole geographic spread of Tucson from Mt. Lemmon (not the whole of Tucson, but Tucson viewed from above), and the spread of the USA can be viewed from a satellite, (which is not the “whole” of the USA).  Earth viewed from our Moon, is just that – a view – it is not the “whole” Earth.  We don’t view the inside of each building, or the movements of every person. These societal entities are mental constructs and we should not assume that they will behave according to the same laws of classical physics or human studies of real, observable human behavior.

Indeed, we can’t exclude the possibility that we may discover Societal Weirdness akin to Quantum Weirdness. It is not necessary that weirdness be discovered for the issue of this essay to be significant.

Physiological, Personal, Social, Societal, Global  – are five distinct levels of reality for Human Studies.

The science of the societal and global domains may differ from the science of the personal and social. The difference may be as significant that that between classical and quantum physics – which has me temporarily call this Quman Physics. Quantum Physics was concerned with hypothetical phenomena too small to observe. Quman Physics is concerned with hypothetical phenomena involving humans – over space and time, and too large to be observed.

Quman Physics today

Quman Physics is not anywhere like our mature Quantum Physics. Although many of the concepts that contribute to the emergence of Quman Physics have been discovered and reported by many persons, few of these contributors imagine what is being proposed here.  Whereas Quantum Physics emerged within a highly dialogic community of very intelligent scientists, Quman Physics is emergent (yet embryonic) in the mind brain of one unique human savant: Larry/nuet.  As such, it may be but a mad fantasy of Larry’s. There may be others, but Larry is not yet aware of them.

On the other hand, major shifts in reality usually coalesce in the mind/brains of one or a few persons, before they spread into the population – although they aren’t independent of the contributions of others.  The resistance of others to comprehend Larry’s disorganized attempts to share his complex ideas is par for the course. However, the Magnitude, Scope, and Complexity (MSC) of the shift proposed by Larry/nuet is unique – but so is the totality of our planetary-wide Crisis-of-Crises. We can’t depend on our contemporary knowledge and worldviews to be sufficient for survival/thrival.

The issue for humankind is – might we be in need of major shifts in worldview, to survive/thrive? Why are we not searching for them? What is needed to evaluate Larry/nuet’s Quman Physics proposal.

Larry’s savant nature – compensating for his total lack of mental imagery in all sensory modalities, resulting in no sensory remembrances or imagination – may enable Larry to provide a special service to humankind in time of need. Savants in the past have contributed their services (e.g., Turing). Details on this elsewhere. Larry doesn’t view himself as a “genius”, as related to high IQ and fast thinking competencies. Larry/nuet has talents only in narrow domains.

What is “humankind”, and how does it change, has been among the queries of human persons for centuries. I (Larry/nuet) has just started reading Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf.  I am astonished that the queries of many explorative minds at his time (the same time as the beginnings of the USA) are highly relevant today. This reminds me, again, of the importance of the Relevance vs Recency  phenomenon – one of the features of Quman Physics.

Humankind today

There are as many “humankinds” as there are unique humans on Planet Earth today – approaching eight billion; because the conceptual scheme we label “humankind” and any detail ascribed to it, is a pattern of neural-molecular activity in each person’s mind/brain. Humankind is never perceived, or even consciously imagined as a whole. It is a fiction, emergent in each of use, and serves a context for what we do and think. No person consciously constructs their personal humankind, and it is as much a product of each person’s detailed cultural environments during their lives.

Even among the scientifically knowledgeable there is great diversity of “who we are”. This doesn’t account for the diversity as to culture, social class, and age (young children represent a significant percent of the human population). That there is any type of consensus as to “who we are” is a gross fiction. The frontiers of research about humans and human systems are accelerating in their discoveries. However, such discoveries have very little impact on how most humans believe about “who we are”. No wonder we are in trouble.

Elsewhere I have approached this issue from a comparison of the Sci/Tech of systems with humans as basic components with the Sci/Tech of systems where humans are abstracted from them – what they would be/do were there no humans. The quality of the Sci/Tech of the latter far, far exceeds that of the former, which in ways has not really improved in millennia; although it had changed due to use of the Sci/Tech of material systems. For example, material technical innovations moved the evolution of language/communication through memorization & rituals, written, printed, and now digital modalities – and humankind changed.

Humankind also changed as the result of recording/playback of activity, from films, TV, and now, potentially a cell phone in everyone’s hand linked to YouTube. Yet, with all these changes, the basics of “who we are” remained a confused montage of unconfirmed beliefs.

There is no significant intent or action to uplift the human population to a distribution of knowledge levels about “humankind”, even though many are well aware of threats to our very survival, let alone thrival. Why?  Are our leaders (including researchers and activists) so naive as to believe we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps without uplifting, significantly, almost everyone?

The behavior of “the people” in response to the antics of their “leaders” informs me that THE SITUATION IS VERY CRITICAL. It is hard to identify a nation or population that isn’t in deep trouble. The media is full of simplistic arguments that are basically about “Who we are”.

From the crude ideas about Quman Physics, Larry/nuet can imagine viable means for the population to, by bootstrap, UPLIFT itself. Yet, it appears everyone else, even those totally dedicated to the quality survival/thrival of humankind, appear locked-into their belief in a world characterized by contemporary Human Studies. What is worse, any shift in reality perspective is hidden in their blindspots.

 

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

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  1. […] The Sci/Tech of humans and humankind, cited by Sawyer, reports many patterns – but there is no coherent theory/model of humankind – in its diversity and complexity. We transfer the successes of the Sci/Tech of material systems (without human persons as components) to the Sci/Tech of systems with human persons as key components, which is unfounded and dangerous.  Humankind requires a unique Sci/Tech, which I call Quman Physics. […]